Smoke Detector Technology

In 2010 Massachusetts adopted new regulations regarding the different types of smoke detection technology and how they may be used.

Photoelectric Smoke Detector

Photoelectric Smoke Detectors

Ionization Smoke Detector

Ionization Smoke Detectors

Dual Photoelectric and Ionization Smoke Detector

Dual Photoelectric and Ionization Smoke Detector

Requirements Within 20 Feet of Kitchens & Bathrooms


The recently imposed regulation limits the type of detectors (ionization vs. photoelectric) that can be situated close to kitchen and bathrooms.

For detectors situated within 20 feet of a kitchen or a bathroom with a tub and/or shower, the state requires that only photoelectric sensor technology be used.

For all detectors located beyond 20 feet of a kitchen or bathroom with tub or shower, the detector must use both technologies (dual photoelectric and ionization) or two separate detectors are required (one photoelectric and one ionization).

Combination Smoke / Carbon Monoxide Detectors


The use of combination smoke / Carbon Monoxide detectors is permitted as long as they are placed in accordance with the location requirements for smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and the appropriate smoke detector technology is utilized for the location.

The combination detector must be Massachusetts approved. (i.e. the detector must have a voice component that alerts to the type of emergency occurring. Often this is a voice that says: "Fire" or "Carbon monoxide." Combination detectors that just beep are not compliant.